<
>
Insider

Importance of FG% and FT%

1/25/2013

Only the Miami Heat (48.9 FG%) are shooting better than the San Antonio Spurs (48.6 FG%) this season and those two squads are the only teams that are shooting better than the Oklahoma City Thunder's 47.8 FG%. Not surprisingly, strong guard play by the Heat and Spurs has been a key to their success in that department.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Spurs guard Tony Parker has made 52 percent of his field-goal attempts this season, the highest percentage for any player who has started at least 30 games as a guard. The only other guard who has started 30 games this season and has made at least half of his shots from the floor is the Heat's Dwyane Wade (51 FG%).

The rare guards who can shoot in the 50-percent range from the field also are a boon to fantasy teams, because they will help roto-league teams stay firm in the FG% category and points-league teams stay competitive in head-to-head battles. The Spurs have another guard, Kawhi Leonard, who is up in that range (49.2 FG%), too. He could be a fantasy monster if he ever secures a large enough role on offense.

Another big fantasy helper is any player who can chip in with excellent percentages from the field and the charity stripe. Both Parker (52.0 percent from the field, 81.5 percent from the line) and Tim Duncan (50.5 FG%, 82.6 FT%) are making 50 percent of their field-goal attempts and 80 percent of their free throws. Per Elias, the last Spurs player to post those percentages over a full season (minimum: 250 field goals and 100 free throws) was Wes Matthews in 1985-86 (53.1%, 82.0%).

The staggering thing about Duncan's success at the stripe this season is that he has averaged just 69.1 FT% over his lengthy career and has topped 73.0 FT% just twice during his career, and that was more than a decade ago (79.9 FT% in 2001-02, 76.1 FT% in 1999-2000)